Arch Pharm Res. 2020 Aug 1. doi: 10.1007/s12272-020-01258-7. Online ahead of print.
A novel coronavirus, later named SARS-CoV-2, was first reported in China in December 2019 and subsequently widely identified in the United States, Japan, South Korea, France, India, and other countries. The disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection was called COVID-19. The high fatality and morbidity rates of COVID-19 make it the third largest global epidemic in this century. However, there are currently no approved antiviral drugs for the COVID-19 treatment. Recently, two old antimalarial drugs, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, have been found to exert anti-SARS-CoV-2 effects both in vitro and in vivo. Preliminary clinical evidence suggests these drugs may have an effect on the treatment of COVID-19. Herein, we review the pharmacokinetics characteristics and antiviral effects of these drugs, in addition to their side effects and clinical evidence of their use for the COVID-19 treatment.